“Hasta Luego”is it written on the poster in front of the Palais des sports-Dôme de Paris, with his smiling face, and not goodbye. At 73, Véronique Sanson does not give in to the vogue for farewell tours, which has been proliferating for some time among baby boomers (Elton John, Kiss, to come Roger Waters and Michel Sardou…) and prefers to say “see you soon” – at worst, “see you later”. And she keeps her word, since here she is already back in the capital for three evenings, as was the case at the Folies-Bergère in November 2022. In this Sports Palace at the Porte de Versailles which was the temple of Johnny Hallyday, but also his.
Véronique Sanson knows a little about this dome since she is stopping there for the seventh time. The last was no later than 2019. The first, in 1978, gives an idea of its status that year, since never before had a French artist been programmed in this room inaugurated in 1960 and able to accommodate 5,000 spectators, a rarity at the time. She missed being the first woman to sing there, shortly preceded by Aretha Franklin – an honor rather than a disappointment. Sanson had just recorded his fifth album, Hollywoodmilestone of his American exile in the company of rockstar Stephen Stills, which would soon turn into hell.
Her singing turn immediately recalls how she made the difference. American-style entrance after an instrumental intro with a brassy groove. On stage, they are already ten, exclusively male, with an impeccable section of blowers (trumpet, trombone and saxophone), a drummer doubled with a percussionist, a bassist, a guitarist, a keyboardist and two singers.
In an embroidered suit with a cross on the back like the stars of Nashville wear (to change “tailcoats”, she explains), Sanson greets the public then goes to his piano to The one who does not try (is only wrong once). There ssensitivity is French, with those joys and sorrows of a woman that only Barbara before her knew how to impose as an author and performer. The sound is Californian, and no one in this country will have been able to appropriate it like this. Melodies as beautiful as those of Michel Berger, with eloquence and flamboyance to boot. As a result, Sanson’s albums have generally aged wonderfully, unsurpassable references for Jeanne Cherhal or Juliette Armanet.
Marc Lavoine as a surprise guest
The most recent one is however not recent since Worthy, crazy, so… dates back to 2016, which we will not hold against her because of the health problems she has experienced. Sanson does not dwell on it, with only one extract (the single And I call her again), but it still offers two unreleased tracks that suggest a new album. Hasta Luego, which therefore baptizes this tour, was written with Vianney, “without knowing who did what”, she indicates. Melodically and rhythmically, this country-rock song is pure Sanson, the text too (“I can’t lie to myself anymore”an antiphon from his repertoire), and it is difficult to find any trace of the author of I am leaving. More dramatic, the second novelty, Signs, also conveys familiar ground. “I can no longer live like this, forgetting myself”she sings.
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